ROME, May 21 (Reuters) - Italy is prepared to help ease the pain of any job cuts after it has sold its controlling stake in airline Alitalia (AZPIa.MI: Quote, Profile , Research), the government said on Monday.
Rome has shortlisted three bidders for the loss-making airline. The government has said it will choose the buyer on the basis of the plans to turn the airline around rather than on price.
"As the third phase of the Alitalia privatisation process begins, the government confirms its readiness to adopt the most opportune and consensual initiatives with regards to the possible impact on jobs of the industrial plan presented by the selected buyer," said a statement from Prime Minister Romano Prodi's office.
Any state intervention would "respect European Union norms," the statement added. EU rules aimed at ensuring fair competition prevent governments from handing state aid to their flag carrier airlines, a practice that used to be common...